Time to bundle up for big freeze

Brace yourselves for a cold snap this weekend as temperatures are set to drop significantly, the South African Weather Service has warned.

A spokesman for the Port Elizabeth branch of the SA Weather Service, Garth Sampson, said while most of the country had enjoyed mild and sunny autumn conditions lately, this was set to change fairly dramatically, with daytime temperatures dropping into the mid to low teens.

“Of particular importance for the general public as well as the farming community is a significant drop in daytime temperatures over many provinces [including the Eastern Cape], combined with light snowfalls over the Drakensberg mountains,” Sampson said.

Temperatures in the Eastern Cape were likely to drop to at least 15°C, he said. According to Sampson the balmy weather conditions within the interior of the province will see temperatures reach the mid to upper twenties at times, while many other parts will struggle to reach 10°C.

“This scenario, combined with showers and general windiness, could well lead to stock losses if livestock are not led to shelter at lower elevations before the onset of the bitterly cold weather,” he warned.

Sampson said snow might fall over higher elevations in the Eastern Cape, particularly in the Barkly East area.

“While snowfall will, for the most part, be relatively light, there is still the likelihood of disruption and temporary closure of some mountain passes.”

National weather and aviation forecaster at the South African Weather Service, Wayne Venter, said as the cold front swept across the country it would bring heavy downpours and possibly hail in central South Africa.

“We have also warned of localised flooding in some areas of the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal‚” he said.

However, Sampson said rainfall in the Bay’s catchment areas did not look good as heavy rains were expected in the eastern side of the province.

The daytime temperature in Port Elizabeth today will go from a chilly 11°C in the morning to a mere 18°C by 2pm before dropping to 13°C later on.

Tomorrow will be similar, with an estimated minimum of 10°C and maximum of 21°C.

Uitenhage will see similar conditions with the minimum of 11°C and maximum of 20°C today and 10°C and 21°C tomorrow. – Additional reporting by Jeff Wicks and Matthew Savides.

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